Auckland-based actor Ayesha Heble shares her favourite holiday memories
What do you miss most about travel right now?
Experiencing different cultures, meeting new people, seeing different places.
What are your strongest memories from the first overseas trip you ever took?
My first overseas trip was a camping holiday around Europe with my family. My strongest memory of that trip was visiting St Mark's Square in Venice on my 14th birthday and taking a vow that one day I would return there with my own children, when and if I ever had them. I am happy to say that sure enough, nearly 50 years later, I did visit St Mark's Square again with my two sons, fulfilling my childhood vow.
What was a standard family holiday like when growing up?
Growing up in India, holidays were usually spent at hill stations like Ranikhet and Nainitaal, staying in "daak bungalows", built by the British when they ruled India, for the sahibs and memsahibs to retire to from the sweltering summer heat of the plains. They are now used for much the same purpose by government officials of independent India.
Who has most inspired your travels?
My father, who planted the travel bug in us children
What is the greatest trip you've ever been on?
The most recent one, to South America in early 2020, just before the onset of the first lockdown. We went hiking in Patagonia in Chile, visited the Iguazu falls in Argentina, Macchu Pichu in Peru, and the Amazon rain forest. Spectacular!
What's your approach to packing for a big trip?
The lighter, the better. But having said that, be prepared for all kinds of weather. And always take at least one nice outfit for a fancy night out.
What is the destination that most surprised you – good or bad?
The second time I visited the little seaside resort of Side (pronounced See-day), on the southern coast of Turkey. The first time was in 1977 when I lived in Iran and had backpacked across Turkey with two friends. Side had been a charming little village favoured mainly by the locals, so I was very keen to go back the next time I visited the country, 35 years later. I was bitterly disappointed to find that it had grown into a horribly commercialised tourist resort.
Where was your most memorable sunrise/sunset?
Sunrise over the Grand Canyon was absolutely glorious!
What's the first thing you do when you get home from a long trip?
I sit down and organise all my photos. I download and arrange them in albums on my computer, print hard copies of the best 25 or 30, which I then arrange in old-fashioned photo albums.
What do you miss most about home when you travel?
My two sons.
Where is the one destination you must see in your lifetime?
I would love to visit Aitutaki in the Cook Islands, because it seems like paradise on Earth.
What's your favourite thing about travel?
Reminding myself what a wonderful world we live in.
Ayesha Heble stars in Prayas Theatre Company's production of Dhaba on Devon Avenue, at Auckland's Tapac Theatre, May 26-June 5. tapac.org.nz